Pink Zone donates record $197,210 to breast cancer charities in 2011

July 29, 2011

University Park, Pa. — The 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State was a record-breaking event in the Lady Lions' fight against breast cancer as the Penn State women's basketball team donated $197,210.34 to five breast cancer charities. Led by honorary co-chairs and breast cancer survivors Mimi Barash Coppersmith and College of Health and Human Development Dean Nan Crouter, the funds raised by the 2011 Pink Zone at Penn State were donated to charities on the local, state and national level and included Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital.

"I am thrilled with the success our Pink Zone at Penn State has achieved over the years, but in particular this year," Lady Lion Basketball head coach Coquese Washington said. "We took a major step forward with our 2011 event. We have such a tremendous level of support from all the committee members and volunteers who contribute so much of their time and talent to this cause. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to grow Pink Zone at Penn State into college basketball's signature Pink Zone event."

Donations made from the 2011 Pink Zone fulfill two of the Lady Lions' initial endowment commitments with Mount Nittany Medical Center and Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. In five Pink Zone annual events, the Lady Lions have now donated $362,317.73 to various breast cancer charities.

The Lady Lions' 2011 Pink Zone game received an additional $77,765 from in-kind donors from many local and regional businesses, including Fullington Trailways, Forever Broadcasting, Centre Daily Times, Martin's Potato Chips, Town & Gown Magazine, Barash Media, Magnum Broadcasting, WTAJ, The Sign Factory, Susquehanna Trailways, Martz Trailways, the Bryce Jordan Center and Best Event Rental.

The Lady Lions welcomed a record 352 breast cancer survivors and a Pink Zone record 11,288 fans to the Bryce Jordan Center as Penn State took on Northwestern on February 28, 2011. The Lions topped Northwestern, 66-56, in front of the ninth-largest crowd in BJC history as they honored breast cancer survivors and generated awareness for the fight against breast cancer. The win also clinched a second place finish in the Big Ten regular season standings for the Lady Lions.

In just two years, the Lady Lions have met their $100,000 goal to fund the "Penn State Lady Lion Basketball Cancer Resource Center" as part of the Mount Nittany Medical Center's new cancer center, which will be built onto the Health Services wing at the hospital. The Resource Center will feature a lending library, American Cancer Society resources, volunteer support, internet access to get the latest information and space for support groups to meet.

"All of us at Mount Nittany Medical Center are deeply grateful to the Pink Zone at Penn State, Coach Washington, the players and the entire Lady Lion Basketball organization for their generosity and support of local cancer care through the gifts to the resource center of the new cancer center at Mount Nittany," Steve Brown, FACHE, CEO and President of Mount Nittany Health System said. "The Pink Zone is an important, premier event for this community and its impact touches so many people. We couldn't be more proud or pleased to be part of it."

The Lady Lions also fulfilled their pledge of $50,000 to fund "Penn State Lady Lion Basketball Endowment" through the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. The endowment will provide grants for novel ideas in breast cancer research and will be awarded annually.

"The Penn State Cancer Institute is proud to be a recipient of the philanthropic efforts of the Pink Zone event," Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute Director Dr. Thomas Loughran said. "Funds raised through this effort have been used to stimulate new research in breast cancer."

Penn State's fundraising efforts for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition will be used for continued maintenance and a special pink wrap on the organization's van that is used to travel the state and spread the message of breast cancer awareness and education.

"Thanks to the continued support of the annual Pink Zone at Penn State, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition is able to continue its outreach efforts across the state," said Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. "The donation from Pink Zone enables our one-of-a-kind pink van, with the Lady Lion Basketball logo as the sponsor, to travel around Pennsylvania as we work in every way possible to find a cure for breast cancer our daughters won't have to."

The fourth beneficiary is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, which is named for former N.C. State women's basketball coach Kay Yow. The Yow Fund is a charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause. The Kay Yow Fund awards a $50,000 to $100,000 research grant to fund a cancer research project at a Cancer Center in the host city of that year's NCAA Women's Final Four in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Convention. Last year's grant recipient was Chunyan He, ScD from the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center at Indiana University.

"Penn State has set the bar high each year with its outstanding support of the WBCA Pink Zone and contributions to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund," Kay Yow Cancer Fund Executive Director Marsha Sharp said. "We appreciate the efforts of all of our participants in helping to raise awareness and funding in the fight against cancer."

The Lady Lions' donation to J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital will be used to assist in the purchase of new mammography equipment.

"The contributions from the Pink Zone at Penn State will provide important seed money for our digital mammography fundraising campaign at J.C. Blair Hospital in Huntingdon," said Maria Pettinger, M.D., Chief Radiologist and Chief of Staff at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. "More importantly, our involvement in the Pink Zone at Penn State will allow J.C. Blair to join forces with Central Pennsylvania's major players in the fight against breast cancer to benefit the women in our communities."

The Lady Lions express special thanks to the following primary sponsors for their strong support of the 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State: the Edward H. and Jeanne D. Donlevy Arnold Foundation, Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Penn State Bookstore, Lady Lion Cager Club and Shaner Associates.

For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at

The 2012 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State date will be announced when the Big Ten schedule is revealed in August. For donation information, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 29, 2011